New monetization solution for new ad revenue streams with non-linear streaming ads

As the whole streaming industry is shifting, at an accelerated pace, towards ad supported services, the need to monetize publishers’ inventory in an always more diversified manner while maintaining the best possible user experience is becoming paramount.

In today’s dynamic digital landscape, the ad-supported streaming industry is calling for innovative ad unit formats to keep pace with demand-side’s expectations. Non-linear ads are emerging as a groundbreaking solution, enabling publishers to embrace new, non-intrusive monetization opportunities, particularly ideal for live events where traditional ad breaks may be limited. Such formats complement the linear ads leveraged for filling pre & mid-rolls opportunities with video ads.

Discover how we’ve strengthened our longstanding partnership with Broadpeak, to deliver a streaming solution enabling new ad revenue streams with non-linear ads for OTT. logo

Unlike other closed or proprietary solutions, this new approach is based on the IAB SIMID standard, stemming from the IAB Tech Lab, to which castLabs is a member. It somehow constitutes the best of both worlds as it leverages server-side capabilities to interface with ad decisioning, and client-side capabilities to provide a secured (sandboxed) way of rendering ads with an augmented user experience. What is attractive with this option is that it unifies the monetization stack regardless of the ad unit formats.

IAB Tech Lab logo

Business needs

If we had to pick some of the top challenges most publishers are dealing with to increase profitability, we would probably consider the following list:

  1. Better sell existing inventory.
  2. Create new inventory.
  3. Make the UX less disruptive to keep audiences online and to avoid churn.
  4. Build stronger demand with new and innovative ad unit formats for TV.

While item 1 can be addressed with dedicated technology, instream non-linear ads seem to be well aligned with all other requirements:

  • For publishers: they help creating new ad inventory
  • For advertisers and agencies: they enable new ad formats for streaming on TV
  • And for the targeted audience: end-users can enjoy a less disruptive User Experience.

From a use cases standpoint, the list is quite long, but the following ones are representative of the most typical scenarios. logo

While some use cases have less dependencies to content and format, other scenarios, such as in scene ads need to be thought of from content production stage and seem to be a very promising option for contextual product branding (see for instance what NBCUniversal Peacock is positioning and testing for In-Scene Ads).

NBCUniversal In-Scene Ads testing example
NBCUniversal In-Scene Ads testing example

The other interesting observation is that anti ad skipping control is somehow still relevant. In most cases though (e.g. L-banner and in scene), end-users skipping or fast forwarding their session would also miss some content. If the ads are showing within or next to a scene with high interest, the willingness to watch this scene (and therefore the ad) is preserved. The incentive to skip ads is definitely lower than with instream linear ads which is exactly what publishers are looking for in order to maximize ad impressions.

The Value Proposition of Nonlinear Targeted Ads

One of the primary advantages of nonlinear targeted ads is the ability to preserve the viewer’s contact with high-value programming content. By integrating non-intrusive ads that do not disrupt the viewing experience, publishers can maintain viewer engagement while monetizing their content effectively.

Wide range of use cases

Non-linear ads offer a versatile range of use cases to suit different content and viewing scenarios. Below are just a couple of examples:

  • Overlay: Non-intrusive ads displayed over the content without interrupting the viewing experience.
  • Squeeze Back/L-Banner: Original content remains fully visible, with the ad displayed as a squeezed-back banner.

Pre-integrated solution

Together with Broadpeak, we offer a pre-integrated solution for non-linear targeted ads, combining our PRESTOplay SDK’s with Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) and Broadpeak SmartLib SDK. This integrated approach ensures seamless implementation and optimal performance for OTT and PayTV providers.

Compatibility and flexibility

The joint solution is designed to work across all streaming devices, including Android TV, and supports all workflows and inventories, including Live, OnDemand, and Replay content. This versatility ensures that content providers can leverage non-linear targeted ads across various platforms and content types, maximizing monetization opportunities.

Fully standards-based and future-proof

The non-linear targeted ads solution is fully standards-based, leveraging IAB Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition (SIMID) for the interactive part in replacement of VPAID. This future-proof approach ensures compliance with industry standards and facilitates easy integration with existing and emerging technologies.

Demonstrated use case: L-banner ad

To illustrate the effectiveness of non-linear targeted ads, let’s consider an L-banner ad use case:

  • Original Content: The original content remains fully visible, maintaining viewer engagement.
  • Implementation: Utilizing SSAI, Broadpeak SmartLib SDK and castLabs’ PRESTOplay SDK’s for Android TV, the L-banner ad is seamlessly integrated into the viewing experience.
Android TV

By leveraging this joint solution, OTT and PayTV providers can effectively monetize their content with non-intrusive ads, preserving the viewer’s contact with high value programming content and unlocking new revenue streams.


The ad-supported streaming industry is undergoing a transformative shift, with the demand for innovative ad unit formats driving the need for new monetization strategies. Non-linear targeted ads offer a promising solution, providing content providers with the ability to preserve viewer engagement while monetizing their content effectively.

Our strengthened partnership with Broadpeak aims to deliver a comprehensive solution for non-linear targeted ads, enabling publishers to embrace new, non-intrusive monetization opportunities across all streaming devices and workflows. With a pre-integrated solution, wide range of use cases, and standards-based approach, publishers can confidently implement non-linear targeted ads and unlock new revenue streams in the evolving video streaming landscape.

If you’re interested in experiencing our latest offerings, be sure to visit us at the NAB Show 2024. We will be showcasing our newest integrations at our booths:

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Posted by

Burcin Aksay

Burcin Aksay
Communications and Events Manager

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